Montana Senate Passes Bill to Nullify FDA Restrictions

A bill passed unanimously by the Montana Senate today would effectively nullify some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that prevent treatments from being used by terminally ill patients.

Senate Bill 142 (SB142) was introduced by Sen. Cary Smith as the Montana Right to Try Act on Jan. 13. The bill was quickly moved to a hearing and executive session vote in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Safety, where it passed 7-0. And today, the Montana Senate took the measure up, passing it unanimously, 47-0.

According to the sponsor, Sen. Smith, there was widespread support for his bill, with over 70 co-sponsors, and many of those “getting on board early.”

If passed into law, a patient suffering from a terminal disease attested to by a physician and who has considered all other approved treatment options would be able to try experimental treatments or drugs not yet approved by the FDA, effectively nullifying this narrow, but important set of federal restrictions.

SB142 also prohibits any state official, employee, or agent from blocking or attempting to block an eligible patient’s access to an investigational product. In other words, if the FDA wants to stop this from happening in Montana, they won’t be able to rely on help from the state, which is usually the case with enforcement actions.

Physicians are protected under the bill as well. SB142 prohibits any licensing board from taking action to revoke, suspend, sanction, fail to renew, or take any other action against a physician’s license solely based on such physician’s recommendation, prescription, or treatment of an eligible patient with an investigational product.

SB142 makes up part of a greater trend promoting medical freedom sweeping the nation. During this most recent November election, Arizona residents approved Prop. 303, known as the Arizona Terminal Patients’ Right to Try Referendum….

Legislatures in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Louisiana, have already passed Right to Try Laws similar to the Arizona amendment, and more than 20 states are considering such measures in 2015, with the Wyoming Senate passing a similar measure unanimously last week.

Although these laws only address one small aspect of FDA regulation, they provide us with a clear model demonstrating how to nullify federal statutes that violate the Constitution….

By Michael Boldin – Tenth Amendment Center –

Election brings new GOP power to state Capitols

From the Associated Press –

State capitols across the country will be more Republican than at any point since the Roaring ’20s when victorious legislators and governors take office next year. That could result in lower taxes and perhaps fewer dollars flowing to social safety net programs.

A day after a big election, newly emboldened Republican state leaders already were making plans Wednesday to pursue deeper tax cuts, relax business regulations, expand private school vouchers and impose new limits on public welfare programs.

In some states, such as Kansas, Republicans will be able to do as they want, because they control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office. In others, such as neighboring Missouri, the Republicans’ legislative supermajorities will be so large that they can essentially disregard the objections of a Democratic governor. Elsewhere, like in New York, the Republican takeover of one legislative chamber simply means a stronger say in a state still otherwise led by Democrats.

Nowhere in the entire nation did Democrats take over a legislative chamber previously held by Republicans. And Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was the only Republican chief executive to fall to a Democratic challenger.

For statehouse Republicans, “it’s their strongest position in nearly a century,” said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Republicans will have full control of at least 29 state legislatures, according to the conference, the party’s largest total since 1928, perhaps earlier. The GOP will hold at least 32 governorships, including newly won offices in traditionally Democratic Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts.

In many cases, the Republican victories expanded majorities won in previous elections, such as the 2010 GOP sweep. Over the past several years, Republicans already have used those majorities to cut taxes, restrict abortions, expand gun rights and limit the powers of public employee unions.

Those all remain high on the Republican agenda.

“We’re going to focus on legislation that helps small businesses, whether that’s taxes, labor or the regulatory environment,” said Missouri House Speaker-nominee John Diehl, whose Republican caucus now holds its highest-ever number of seats.

The challenge for Republicans may be to constrain their enthusiasm, lest they go further than some voters had anticipated and complicate their chances of re-election in the future.

 
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